I originally posted this to my Facebook page. I felt like I should share it here as well. I wrote it late Saturday night (4/25/15).
This is what I believe — even when I can’t see it…
I am a firm believer that God is in control. Yet I also believe that He gives man free will. It is a dichotomy, for sure. I still believe both statements are true.
There are times that I make a choice that I think is the right one — yet it turns out not to be the best. There are times that I make the absolute right choice — yet others don’t — and their choice affects the outcome of my choice. And…
there are times I make the wrong choice… and it’s not pretty. Ever been there? You’re reading this, and you’re human. So I’m guessing the answer is a big ol’ YES.
We mess up. All of us. But grace… God’s grace! It is a powerful thing. A good and inexplicable thing. And mercy? Something I can’t grasp, but am so thankful for.
A dear friend reminded me of this faith-truth today:
God is for me.
He is not against me.
I have experienced His grace. I have experienced His mercy. I have experienced His forgiveness… and continue to do so every day.
There is a verse that sustains me, no matter the circumstance, that sums up free-will and God’s sovereignty for me…
26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. (Romans 8:28)
He is working “it” out — whatever “it” is — for something good.
And the outcome might not look like what we thought it would.
But He will do what He has said.
This I believe.
Even when I can’t see it.
It’s been a long time.
And I have prayed… a lot.
Then I went back and did it all over again… and again… and again.
I can rejoice!
I have been about to explode with this news…
Two days ago, I signed a contract with Jodell Sadler! She is a phenomenal literary agent and I am so happy!! I shared it with some peeps via personal email and such, but now I can publicly announce it. I’m so excited and thankful for this next step in my writing journey. And very grateful to be connected with an agent who gets my work and wants to help me get it where it needs to be.
Also — I have a fabulous group of agency peeps! I am looking forward to buying their books!
Did I mention that I’m excited??!!??!! (Did the exclamation points give it away?)
It’s almost here. Tomorrow, in fact! I’ll be heading to Greenville, SC, to participate in a fabulous writing confererence, Write2Ignite! And this year, we’ll have a precious guest artist as part of our worship team, Lisa Albinus. She has graciously offered to donate her finished painting to write2ignite to be auctioned off, and for the monies to go back into funding future Write2ignite conferences!
Please check out this post to learn more —> http://write2ignite.com/2015/03/26/special-opportunity-at-write2ignite-praise-art/
No, I don’t speak Français.
I don’t even think that I Écriture it correctly.
But I can translate, “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” thanks to google. Here you go:
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
So the more evil there is in the world, the more of God’s power and Grace we need to stand against it.
This is true. It has always been true.
And no matter how much things change, this statement will always be true.
We must be a voice for the voiceless.
If today had been a fishing day, I would NOT be having a fish fry. More like a drowned worm party!
I have been trying to find a blog post that felt right for today. But… nothing has felt like the best fit. So I have kept trying to find the right fit. I can’t say that one thing is better than the other, it’s just a feeling I have when I am blogging. I know what I’m supposed to write and what I’m not… most of the time. So here I am, writing about revising… since that is what I’ve been doing with this post. Honestly, it’s what I do with most of my posts. I feel like I spend a lot of time drowning worms. Eventually, though, I do haul in a good catch!
For example, the post I wrote on Love, Crochet and Boogers took me well over a week to write. I was very excited about posting it, but knew it needed revision… lots of it. Every day I tweaked it a little more until it felt right – then I had to revise a huge chunk of it.
That’s how it is most of the time with my stories. I tweak here… I tweak there… I tweak a little everywhere. And sometimes tweaking turns into full blown revision.
And full blown revision is frustrating and painful… but necessary.
Full blown revision is often the only thing that can save our manuscripts.
Have you ever had a story you had to overhaul completely? I have had a few. But I had to step back from them for a while before I realized how much I needed to do it.
For this post, I looked up some other posts on revision. Here is one of my favorites so far:
“By the time I am nearing the end of a story, the first part will have been reread and altered and corrected at least one hundred and fifty times. I am suspicious of both facility and speed. Good writing is essentially rewriting. I am positive of this.” — Roald Dahl
For more thoughts on revision, check out this blog post by Emily Temple: Great Writers on the Art of Revision.
And this compilation: Quotes on Editing
What about you? Got any good quotes or helpful links on revision? How about your own ideas? How do you address it in your own writing? We all know that sometimes you have to drown a few worms to catch a good fish. So how many worms do you usually drown before your fishnet is full?
Want to write – but feel stuck in a rut? I came across these gems tonight to help put some skip in your writing steps!
1. Random writing prompts generator http://www.languageisavirus.com/writing_prompts.html You can click a button for random writing prompts. Don’t knock it ’til you try it!
2. Name generator! http://www.languageisavirus.com/characternamegenerator.html It’s fun and you might figure out a cool name!
3. It is labeled as prompts for middle-schoolers – but can be great for adult writers, too! http://journalbuddies.com/journal_prompts__journal_topics/fun-writing-prompts-for-middle-school/
My fave is the name generator! Here are a few that I liked the best because these names just sound like they need a story written about them!
Idana Moon Maylin
Mircea Bat Rumor
Dorie Kreeli Lark
Early Independence Jesimae
Morey Lore Brilliant
Modesty Morrie Wind
I like Pinterest. It’s fun. It’s cool. I could hang out there for hours.
But I will never be at the “Pinterest-Perfect table”. Not for crocheting. Not for cooking. Not for marriage. Not for parenting. Not for housekeeping, writing, running. Not for anything.
Let me explain…
Sidenote: Be prepared, this is one of the longest posts I’ve written in a while. Go get a cup of coffee. Maybe a blanket. Shoot, you might want to order a pizza. And – if you get to the end and think it is an anti-pinterest post, read it again. You missed the point. Anyway, I digress. Back to the post…
Recently, I started a new crochet project, and I was really, really excited!
I had new yarn, just the right needles and an idea that was going to become reality.
This, my friends, was going to be PINTEREST worthy. It was going to be pinned again, and again, and again… and I was going to be able to point to my project and say, “THIS. This is how you do it, folks!”
But about halfway through the crochet project, I saw that I’d messed up. There were holes in places that were obviously not where they were supposed to be. And I didn’t know how to fix them.
The yarn didn’t look like I thought it would. And in places, it was thinner than it should be.
I also saw that it was taking a lot longer to get my project finished than I had originally thought. I was getting tired. VERY tired. I started to give up a few times on the hot mess I had created.
It was not the perfect project like I’d planned.
Often, we look at life like I did my crochet project. We look at it as something that will turn out exactly as we imagined. Something perfect. Something that will transcend time and space, begging poets and musicians to write about us. It’s like we want to point at our marriages, our friendships, our jobs, our children and say, “See? We did it right! Perfect!”
It’s as if we want our life to be Pinterest-worthy so we can show the world how perfect it is. And if our little project goes viral? Well, that would be okay, too. Right?
Families, marriages, relationships, jobs, children… they can’t be framed, put on a shelf, or folded up in just the right way to parade in front of all the other people at the Pinterest-Perfect table.
Truth be told, if you look under that “Pinterest-perfect” table, there are wads of gum and boogers and other stuff stuck underneath, hidden from view. We hide the boogers with pretty, but fake smiles and dissuade folks from looking behind the curtain, lest they recognize the mess that is most certainly underneath the ribbons and bows. What if someone else were to recognize their own mess in our hot mess?
Relationships are hard. Jobs are hard. Parenting is hard. It all takes work. So why do we pretend that it doesn’t?
For example – marriage. Chances are, you are either married now, have been married, or know someone who is or has been married. So take another sip of your coffee and let’s talk about that topic for a minute…
Let’s be honest — marriage doesn’t always look like some steamy romance on the orient express. Sometimes it is pushing through the dirty diapers, late night arguments and early morning blahs. Sometimes marriage looks like a super-messy kitchen, rolling coins to buy groceries and trying really, really hard to sleep when your spouse’s snores have obliterated a small country.
Sometimes marriage has the excitement of a roller coaster, a day at the beach or a day hike along your favorite mountain trail. It is a snuggle on the couch, a kiss on the forehead and a whispered, “I love you” when you need it the most. It can be like your favorite t-shirt. The one with all the holes that you wear as often as possible because is it your favorite t-shirt ever. It’s got holes, it needs a good washing… like I said, it’s your favorite. Yeah… you know the one I’m talking about!
Some days, marriage can look like a stroll in the park or a game of MarioKart followed by a chocolate shake from Dairy Queen. It can look like spring cleaning and listening to the oldies, with an impromptu dance in the kitchen. Or it can look like sitting in the same room, mad as fire, refusing to talk until the other person apologizes. Yeah… it can look like all that.
The good, the bad and ugly… marriage has it all.
And unfortunately, sometimes the mess is just too much. And in those instances, sometimes there are too many holes — and they are just too big. And sometimes, there is too much ugliness… and not enough love. And if the bad outweighs the good, sometimes marriages (like all relationships) can unravel past the point of repair.
But I don’t know anyone who enjoys going through that. It’s hard and it hurts. Many people I love have walked that road — and it was not an easy one to travel. And I, for one, can’t throw any stones. Can you?
Because much like Pinterest, marriage is often full of fails. But it’s not just marriage. It’s all relationships. We can get caught up in ourselves and how our lives look to outsiders instead of focusing on how to love each other better.
We are a society full of people who need the Lord’s grace, mercy and forgiveness more than we need anything or anyone else… but we aren’t always willing to admit that. And why? Because we would have to admit that we aren’t perfect.
But life is not a project. It is an intimate journey that has to be walked in honesty. Marriage, parenting, friendships, jobs… you name it… we have to walk it together. And we have to decide not to be afraid to be real about the mess under the table — the gum, boogers, holes and all. That’s the only way it will work. It’s the only way we can grow.
As for that crochet project I started? It’s for my Pookie Bear. He asked me to make a small cover for him to put in his truck on cold days when his legs get chilly. It is complete now, and he loves it.
And guess what? It’s still not perfect. It’s got holes in places it shouldn’t. It doesn’t look like I thought it would in my head. And I’m pretty sure it’s lopsided. But…
It was made with love – and love covers a lot.
As for that Pinterest Perfect table? It doesn’t really exist. Not for marriage. Not for relationships. Not for jobs. Not even for a craft project that looks perfect to everyone else’s eyes.
Instead, we need to get to know the One who loves us in the midst of our imperfections. And He has set a table big enough for everyone…. with our boogers, holes and all. Pull up a chair. There’s plenty of room. He’s got you covered.